He put heart and soul into every task assigned to him, including the highest office in the land. Time and again, he placed nation before self. Quietly and without fuss, he gave his best years and more, to Singapore.
It is with great sorrow today that we bid farewell to one of Singapore's greatest sons.
- Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
Quite apart from Mr Nathan's remarkable career, the central and brightest thread in his life was his love for Umi, his wife. He first set eyes on her in 1942, when she was 13 and he 18.
After a courtship of 16 years, braving parental objections and a two-year separation while Umi studied in Britain, they married in 1958. Their relationship spanned an astonishing 73 years, an inspiration to us all.
S R loved and honoured Umi all the days of his life. And she, in turn, was his anchor throughout his career, including the 12 years that he was president, when she supported him with grace, charm and warmth. Mrs Nathan, thank you.
- PM Lee
He loved to watch Tamil and Malayalam movies. He appreciated both the classical Carnatic music and light film songs.
The song that we heard at the beginning of these proceedings, Thanjavooru Manneduthu, was a particular favourite.
It speaks volumes of the man that this Tamil song resonated with him precisely because he heard it in a tale of Singapore - how from many, we became one; how despite our different traditions, cultures and religions, we could be 'one people'.
- Mr Gopinath Pillai, ambassador-at-largeI had fallen ill during a business trip to India. On the advice of doctors, I delayed my return to Singapore by two weeks. Somehow, Mr Nathan got wind of this and personally visited me at my residence on the way to his morning walk to inquire after me. He was 90 then.
- Mr Ramaswamy Athappan, Fairfax Asia CEO
In 2011, I entered politics and Mr Nathan retired as our president. One day, he asked to come to my office at the then Ministry of Community, Youth and Sports to call on me. I was shocked. I rarely not listened to Mr Nathan, but this time, I disagreed. I told Mr Nathan that it was not right.
When I eventually called on Mr Nathan at his home, he told me that he wanted to call on me to affirm me and the Office of the Minister. (And) that since he was no longer president but a normal citizen, it was only right that he called on me, the Minister.
I grew even more respectful of him. I told Mr Nathan that he would always be my mentor and a president whom all would always remember in our hearts.
- Mr Chan Chun Sing, labour chief and Minister in the Prime Minister's Office